Friday, January 27, 2006

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Going back home shortly. Happy New Year, everyone! Will be back with some new kiddie pictures.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A meme!

Wahhh, pc tagged me with my first meme, leh...

4 Jobs You’ve Had In Your Life

Equities analyst
MLM business owner (short lived, that one)
Admin assistant

4 Movies You Could Watch Over And Over

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Mmm... can't think of any more leh...

4 TV Shows You Love(d) To Watch


4 Places You’ve Been On Vacation To

Alor, Indonesia
The Mergui Archipelego, Myanmar

4 Places You Would Rather Be

Underwater, anywhere (Palau will be nice)
In an onsen in Japan
On the Four Seasons Explorer
In bed, snoozing with Mommy

4 Of Your Favourite Foods

White truffle
Foie gras
Chutoro, or Otoro even better

4 Websites You Visit Daily

South China Morning Post
Mr Wang

How... no one to tag leh...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Of maids and their agents, again

Daddy's had it with the maid agent. Recall that our last maid took the easy route, when she decided that coming to Singapore to work was a bad idea. We were fuming mad of course, knowing that the agent was partly to blame. And so to placate us, he offered a replacement, commission-free (we still had to pay for the previous maid's air ticket home, and his costs for a new one). There was a new maid that his agent in the Philippines was recommending, he said, and whom he has "cross-checked" over the phone. We took her, but it turned out that the replacement wasn't at all what he promised. Not by a long way. That was bad enough.

Then, it surfaces that our new maid had paid what sounded like an under-table sum to the agent in the Philippines, so that he would recommend her to our guy in Singapore. What the hell?! It was bad enough that these characters do business less like employment agents and more like human trafickers, with no proper screening of candidates, no training, and terrible treatment of their maids-to-be. Now we are dealing with corruption too?! Mommy told the maid that she's been cheated, and so have we. This is the last time we will do business with this agent. And to think we went to them because they were run by the family of one of Mommy's friends.

We'll have to change maids again (with a new agent). It's ironic - we wanted to get a maid to help when Jia-Hui came along. Yet though she is barely four months old, she would have been through four maids already. Meanwhile Daddy looks forward to the day when eight out of 10 of his conversations with Mommy will NOT be about the maid.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Too many days without a baby picture?

Here you go :)

For George

Latest: George is having his book launched at POD, National Library Building, on 17 Jan 06 (Tuesday), from 4pm to 7pm. Have a good one, George!

My friend George has written his first two books and Breakthrough, his first, has risen to No. 8 on the Life! bestsellers list! You are a multitalented man, my friend. Here's hoping your other big ambition gets a boost in 2006!

Click on the image for a sample chapter.

George Tan was born a loser. His coolie father, a gambler and an alcoholic, abused him badly and treated him unfairly. A young George could not understand: Why his brothers wore slippers while he went barefoot? Why they had white socks while he was punished in school for wearing black socks? Why he had to go hungry while others licked ice-cream? Why…

In a neighbourhood ruled by gangsters, George grew up well-acquainted with gambling and the 3V’s: vulgarism, vandalism and violence. But he broke free. From red marks in primary school, George went to university and, at age 27 whilst holding a full-time career, topped his diploma and master’s degree classes with flying colours. He went on to succeed in both career and business.

George’s ascent from the depths of hopelessness leaves a trail of soulprints. His life story – set against major world events that left their imprints on the soul of humanity – is interesting, instructive and inspirational.
A child's life is so fragile

Toddler dies after neck gets caught in car window
The Straits Times, 15 Jan 2006

Hollywood, Florida - A toddler was killed when his neck got stuck in a car window while his father was asleep in the driver's seat. Thomaris Waite, who would have been two years old last week, and his 25-year-old father Thomas Waite were waiting in the family's car on Thursday while his mother and sibling were visiting a paediatrician.

The car's ignition was turned on to operate the radio. While Mr Waite was dozing, his son leaned his head out of the window and hit the switch that raised the glass. His neck was pinned between the window and the frame, causing him to suffocate. A woman leaving the paediatrician's office happened to pass by, and she pounded on the window to wake up the toddler's father.

The boy was taken to the clinic and then transferred to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No charges have been filed. --AP
Killer product!

The Straits Times ran an article today about this device called the Slingbox. This how CNET describes it:
Back in the 1970s, the first VCRs introduced a radical notion to the home marketplace: the ability to record your favorite TV shows - even when you weren't at home - and view them at a more convenient time. It took another quarter-century before ReplayTV and TiVo refined the VCR concept, subbing a hard drive for videotapes. It's now easier than ever before to watch your favorite TV shows when you want - but watching them where you want is a bit more challenging.

Sling Media aims to change that. The start-up's Slingbox Personal Broadcaster ($249 list) is a small, silver box that digitizes the programming from your cable or satellite box and streams it - in real time - to a remote PC. The receiving computer needs to be a Windows XP or Windows 2000 PC with access to a broadband Internet connection and be running Sling's SlingPlayer viewing software. But as long as you can find a Wi-Fi hot spot, you can watch your home TV channels live from anywhere in the world, be it Beijing or your bedroom.
What a brilliant idea!!! Just the kind of under-the-radar vigilante-noncompliant product needed to shake up the IP tyrants who continue to deprive tiny markets like Singapore. Check out the company's must-see product tour here, especially the part ("Why Slingbox?") about how you can use the device to remotely control and watch content from a TiVo or DVR.

Looks good enough to eat.

So I thought, hey maybe... I should buy the stock (occupational hazard again). Unfortunately, according to the company's website:
Sling Media is a privately held organization. The Company raised $11.5 million in their Series A financing in October 2004. Series A investors include Mobius Venture Capital, DCM - Doll Capital Management, and several undisclosed strategic investors.
Too bad, atleast you can still enjoy the product. Check out the Straits Times article to see what a few locals have done with it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

iTunes anticlimax

In The Straits Times today:

S'pore to get Apple's iTunes Music Store... finally
Oh Joy! Oh Momentous Day! Tell me more...

Apple Computer has news that will be music to the ears of iPod owners in Singapore.

The company plans to open an iTunes Music Store here...
AHA... the end of next year...
*facepalm* Che... Placed next to a story about illegal music downloaders some more, for that extra tu l*n effect.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Yet another charity stunt show

So the monk was at it again. Believe it or not, I didn't even know that Ren Ci had another charity show until I saw the newspaper reports the next day. Fortunately for Ren Ci, most Singaporeans were not as blah as I was, as evidenced by the handsome sum collected, again.

In today's Straits Times, Lee Sze Yong wrote:
Charities depend on the public for funds to help their beneficiaries. And stunts are efficient means to an end. In 3 1/2 hours, more than $6.8 million was collected for Ren Ci patients. Would artistes just singing have drawn such generous donations? I think not. If artistes know the risks of what they are doing, if they take part willingly and there are safety precautions, I don't see why stunts should be discouraged or stopped.

Show me someone who was not touched by the monk's selfless act on Sunday, and I will show you a cynic. It will take a lot more than just volunteers selling flags on Saturdays to raise funds for a charity's activities. To some, that might be a sad commentary on the Singaporean's approach to charity, but to me, it's just a fact of life. Accept it.
To which I am thinking: who's calling who a cynic?
One kilat looking set of dumbbells

Adjustable from 5 to 65 lbs in 5 lb increments at the turn of a dial, nickel plated chrome, equal weight always on both ends of the dumbbell, handle is only as long as weights selected, lifetime warranty. US$545 only.

Click on the image to link to their website. Check out the videos.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

My blog is worth....


What? Nothing for the cute kids? : )

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Five wishes for 2006

Healthy and happy children.

Harmony at home and at work.

Enough money not to worry.

Fitness and strength.

Sane and just normal maids.